Meet Archangel Michael, Leader of All Angels

Archangel Michael's Roles and Symbols

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Hopler, Whitney. "Meet Archangel Michael, Leader of All Angels." ThoughtCo, Jul. 15, 2017, thoughtco.com/meet-archangel-michael-leader-of-angels-124715. Hopler, Whitney. (2017, July 15). Meet Archangel Michael, Leader of All Angels. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/meet-archangel-michael-leader-of-angels-124715 Hopler, Whitney. "Meet Archangel Michael, Leader of All Angels." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/meet-archangel-michael-leader-of-angels-124715 (accessed September 25, 2017).
Archangel Michael painting by Guido Reni (1636).
Archangel Michael is God's top angel. He leads all of the other angels. The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei/Public Domain

Archangel Michael is God's top angel, leading all of the angels in heaven. He is also known as Saint Michael.  Michael means "Who is like God?" Other spellings of Michael's name include Mikhael, Mikael, Mikail, and Mikhail. 

Michael's main characteristics are exceptional strength and courage. Michael fights for good to prevail over evil and empowers believers to set their faith in God on fire with passion.

He protects and defends people who love God.

People sometimes ask for Michael's help to gain the courage they need to overcome their fears, obtain strength to resist temptations to sin and instead do what's right and stay safe in dangerous situations.

Symbols of Archangel Michael

Michael is often depicted in art wielding a sword or a spear, representing his role as the angelic leader in spiritual battles. Other battle symbols that represent Michael include armor and banners. Michael's other main role as a key angel of death is symbolized in art that depicts him weighing people's souls on scales.

Energy Color

Blue is the angel light ray associated with Archangel Michael. It symbolizes power, protection, faith, courage, and strength

Role in Religious Texts

Michael holds the distinction of being featured more often than any other named angel in major religious texts. The Torah, Bible, and Qur’an all mention Michael.

In the Torah, God chooses Michael to protect and defend Israel as a nation. Daniel 12:21 of the Torah describes Michael as “the great prince” who will protect God’s people even during the struggle between good and evil at the end of the world. In the Zohar (a foundational book in the Jewish mysticism called Kabbalah), Michael escorts the souls of righteous people to heaven.

The Bible describes Michael in Revelation 12:7-12 leading armies of angels that battle Satan and his demons during the world’s last conflict. The Bible says Michael and angelic troops finally emerge victorious, which also mentions in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 that Michael will accompany Jesus Christ when he returns to Earth.

The Qur’an warns in Al-Baqara 2:98: “Whoever is an enemy to God and his angels and his apostles, to Gabriel and Michael -- lo! God is an enemy to those who reject the faith.” Muslims believe that God has assigned Michael to reward righteous people for the good they do during their earthly lifetimes.

Other Religious Roles

Many people believe that Michael works with guardian angels to communicate with dying people about faith and to escort the souls of believers to heaven after they die.

The Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches revere Michael as Saint Michael. He serves as the patron saint of people who work in dangerous conditions, such as military personnel, police and security officers, and paramedics. As a saint, Michael serves as a model of chivalry and boldly working for justice.

The Seventh-Day Adventist and Jehovah’s Witness churches say that Jesus Christ was Michael before Christ came to Earth.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says that Michael is now the heavenly form of Adam, the first created human.